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03-17-2011, 01:40 PM   #1
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Night Photography

Something which came up in another forum: which lens are people using for night photography for the best/sharpest images? I'm thinking something which is quick enough and sharp enough to produce when hand held (otherwise, with a tripod, surely almost anything would do?).

Circumstances are... maybe just a busy street with shop windows and people... rainy nights, in well lit streets, that kind of thing.

03-17-2011, 02:16 PM   #2
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IMO the 1.8 is enough for city shooting
That's an example taken with K-5@ISO 800, 31Ltd @ f1.8
The 31 is known to be sharp from the wide open and it has convenient EFR, although I would prefer it being a moderate wide angle one )
03-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #3
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Most lens (preferably wider lens 16/18mm or even 28mm) for the type of shot you mention, would be ok as long as it was fairly fast (1.2/1.8 or even 2.0) I would suggest.
Sounds to me you are asking all the right questions and on the right track so I am sure, you will succeed with some fine results.
03-17-2011, 02:44 PM   #4
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I use a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC MACRO on my K-x

Shake reduction + a monopod gives me decent results:

@ 18mm, ISO 400, f2.8, 1/8 :
CODE ROUGE - Photos

@ 18mm, ISO 560, f2.8, 1/4 :
CODE ROUGE - Photos

Michel

03-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bramela Quote
Most lens (preferably wider lens 16/18mm or even 28mm) for the type of shot you mention, would be ok as long as it was fairly fast (1.2/1.8 or even 2.0) I would suggest.
Sounds to me you are asking all the right questions and on the right track so I am sure, you will succeed with some fine results.
So (even though its not wide) my 43mm might be adequate to the task? The 15 is only f/4 so maybe not ideal... maybe i do need to look at a fast wide zoom

QuoteOriginally posted by mlatour Quote
I use a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC MACRO on my K-x
Nice shots, Michel. I'll look into that, and its Tamron counterpart. I think the Sigma is quite heavy by comparison with the Tammy, more research needed. However, the Sigma does seem to do the job very well.
03-17-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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Not to worry, you could do a lot worse than a 43mm.
It will do a quite satisfactory job.
03-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kyteflyer Quote
So (even though its not wide) my 43mm might be adequate to the task? The 15 is only f/4 so maybe not ideal... maybe i do need to look at a fast wide zoom
You don't need nearly as fast a shutter speed at 15mm as you do at "normal" focal lengths. The DA15 is fine for night photography.
03-17-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bramela Quote
Not to worry, you could do a lot worse than a 43mm.
It will do a quite satisfactory job.
And

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
You don't need nearly as fast a shutter speed at 15mm as you do at "normal" focal lengths. The DA15 is fine for night photography.
Thanks, Bruce and Marc. So what I need to be doing is sharpening up my technique (which as I said in the other thread...sucks). I already seem to have the "proper" equipment to do what I want.

03-17-2011, 04:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
IMO the 1.8 is enough for city shooting
That's an example taken with K-5@ISO 800, 31Ltd @ f1.8
The 31 is known to be sharp from the wide open and it has convenient EFR, although I would prefer it being a moderate wide angle one )
Sorry I missed this earlier. Yes, nice shot... but I can't afford a 31, so... (Not that I wouldn't like to have one!!)
03-18-2011, 06:03 AM   #10
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If you want SHARP night pix, use a tripod.
If sharpness isn't important, don't bother.
Sure, shoot high ISO and a wide fast lens.
Just don't enlarge the images very much.

Yes, I'll handhold night shots, with a fast lens, and I'll brace myself and/or the camera against something sturdy, and I'll let the ISO ride up, and I'll not worry about sharpness (or lack thereof) because I'm concentrating on content, not quality. But if there's no compelling content (humans, action, etc) I'll use a tripod.
03-18-2011, 02:04 PM   #11
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I have found that an f4 lens is plenty fast enough, especially with a tripod. My 12-24 is very sharp at night, however it is all based on what its sitting on....

03-18-2011, 02:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If you want SHARP night pix, use a tripod.
If sharpness isn't important, don't bother.
I have lots of not so sharp night pix so yeah, I know I can handhold, but I do want sharp, and I do use a tripod, and I still have pix I am not entirely happy with. I've realised its about the settings so when I can venture out again, I shall, and do it all again and again until I get it right. Knowing that I have the appropriate gear helps a lot.

The problem for me locally is, because I am a) female and b) getting on a bit, the bogans and ferals that seem to hang around the areas I need to be to get the shots I want, have become a threat. I can't defend myself against these people who are frequently extremely drunk or drug affected, and loud with it. You hear them before you see them... So I tend to go in the early morning before sunup when they aren't around, and that means limited time for experimenting. Not an excuse, just a statement of fact.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I have found that an f4 lens is plenty fast enough, especially with a tripod. My 12-24 is very sharp at night, however it is all based on what its sitting on....

on what its sitting on? I'm curious. I usually have mine on concrete or dirt, in the places I go to. Stable, but capable of having vibrations transmitted through it...
03-18-2011, 03:47 PM   #13
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Use a tripod or rest your camera on a hard surface at the very least.
On a FF film camera the best lens I have is my K50/1.2, the amount of light it lets in is a must for night shooting.

Phil.
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